Every evening, since I can remember, my husband provides me a 15-20 minute account of sports news. He tells me about the most recent trades for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the latest score of the Pirates game, or the most recent injuries for the high school row team.
I love watching sports and am a huge college football fan, but I have no need to know about every stat, trade, injury and comment made in the world of sports today.
I would much rather discuss our kids, our life dreams, or pretty much anything else. For years, I would just tune out and let my husband talk and talk. Once in a while I would say, “Really?” and then start flipping through facebook, Instagram or twitter again. Until one day, I finally broke and said, “I really don’t care about who is winning this year’s 87th hockey game, why do you continue to bombard me with all of these useless facts!” To which he replied, “Because it excites me and I want to share that with you.”
Ouch, Marriage coach – 0, Marriage coach’s husband – 1
I realized that I was not appreciating my husband and was discounting what he had to say by turning away from him. I was not sharing in his passions with him. I was being selfish with my time and attention. I quickly decided to make a change. I decided to tune in and turn towards.
In the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman indicates that turning towards your partner is the foundation for trust and passion.
“In our six-year follow-up of newlyweds, we found that couples who remained married had turned towards their partner’s bids an average of 86 percent of the time, while those who ended up divorced had averaged only 33 percent.” John Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
By deciding to listen and appreciate what my husband was saying, I was learning to turn towards my husband. This simple act of turning towards my husband made a huge difference in our relationship. He noticed that I was starting to pay attention and in turn would listen more carefully when I spoke.
Marriage coach – 1, Marriage coach’s husband - 1
When my husband and I turn towards each other and are available to one another, we even the score. We are on the same playing field and we both win. There are so many ways to turn towards your partner in order to show them respect and admiration.
Here are some things we do to turn towards each other: My husband often sends me text throughout the day just to say, “loves”. I tell him often how much I appreciate him unloading the dishwasher or making dinner for the kids.
We make the consistent decision to be attuned with each other when we are together.
So put down your phone, turn off the tv, close the book - just listen and tune in today! Try to match your spouse's enthusiasm for things that matter to them.
Tell me in the comments below how you "Tune In" to your partner. And if you found this helpful, please hit the share button!